With Sunday fast approaching, many of us in America are preparing for a day of fun sitting in front of a TV screen somewhere... We do love our football, don't we? And tomorrow is the big day, the big game, the ultimate show! Yes, it is Super Bowl Sunday. And while those of us watching will be concentrating on the two teams, the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, 17 people on an IT staff will be concentrating on Blade Servers and Virtualization.
According to a Computerworld article, it sounds like virtualization could be this year's 12th man on the field at Super Bowl XLIII.
The article talks about how the NFL has assigned a 17 person IT staff to handle this year's game and were tasked with creating a complete IT operation for Super Bowl XLIII in a matter of weeks.
The IT staff is making use of IBM BladeCenter S systems in different locations and using Virtualization software to help provide redundancy. Joe Manto, the NFL's vice president of IT, and Jon Kelly, the league's director of infrastructure computing are leveraging the power of blade servers and virtualization to avoid threats and to maintain system availability and uptime, just like any IT administrator out there.
The IT staff has set up systems in a hotel to support business operations for about 200 NFL employees who are on-site in Tampa. It also has also built a tech operation at the convention center in Tampa to support 3,500 media representatives who are covering the event; that setup includes wireless networking and automated access to NFL data.
Another system will manage the credentialing of up to 25,000 people — everyone from construction workers to halftime performers. In addition, about 300 PCs have been networked together.
Folks are commenting on the article, asking Computerworld to identify what type of virtualization is being used.
The answer? Sounds like VMware virtualization. According to an article over at CRN, the NFL has used VMware's technology to consolidate its league's offices.
Vicom Computer Services, a Farmingdale, N.Y.-based solution provider and long-time IBM partner, said they have been working with the NFL for about three years now. And in addition to numerous smaller deals, the solution provider provided 34 SANs based on IBM's N-series storage products, as well as a server virtualization solution based on VMware to consolidate the league's offices.
Now, let's hope we have a fantastic game for these virtual servers to keep up and operational.